FRANKFORT – On November 11, our nation will come together to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed to preserve our freedom.
Nearly 40 million men and women have been members of the U.S. Armed Forces since the Continental Army was first established 240 years ago this past June. I’m speaking of the soldiers who are among The Greatest Generation who liberated Europe, as well as all other soldiers who trudged through humid jungles, desert sand, on mountains and in war-torn cities.
I also speak of the men and women who served right here at home – those tireless people in our armed forces who stood ready to protect our country’s freedom. And let’s not forget the way so many in our National Guard and Reserves spring to action in relief efforts whenever disasters such as floods or tornadoes hit our nation.
This day is also for remembering all soldiers whose lives ended too soon while fighting for freedom. These soldiers paid the ultimate price so that we can live in a peaceful nation, a nation that has never gone to war for conquest yet has not flinched when liberty demanded a fierce protector.
When we think of all that has been done for us by defenders of freedom, we realize it is but a small gesture to dedicate holidays to these people. We are called to do more.
Maybe we best honor them by recommitting ourselves to the ideals to which they pledged their lives. I’m talking about basic principles such as love of country and love of freedom.
It’s true that our freedom hasn’t come free. It’s been won and re-won for us many times over.
But in America, we must continue to sacrifice for freedom because we know that Americans, both those living and those who have yet to live, must always have the opportunity to live happily and to their greatest potential.
The commitment to these ideals, the commitment to freedom, to be able to make your own decisions, to worship freely, to select a career, to have individual rights and to have them protected and guaranteed, to live life freely – these are the things for which our veterans dedicated themselves.
If you are a veteran or still serving, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your courage and sacrifice on our behalf. Our world is a far greater place because of your contributions. Your commitment to the cause of freedom will never be forgotten.
Senator Robin L. Webb (D) of Kentucky represents Senate District 18 which includes, Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties.
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